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Carroll County sees three more COVID-19 deaths; fewer cases reported since weekly high set

Three more deaths attributed to COVID-19 were announced Wednesday by the Carroll County Health Department while the number of new cases and other metrics are on the decline.

A resident at Sun Valley at The Meadows, an assisted living facility in Westminster, and two community members described as males over 65 years old, have died. Carroll has seen 199 coronavirus-related deaths, 159 of them residents of congregate living facilities and 40 members of the wider community.

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The Carroll County Health Department reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Carroll has seen 134 total cases this week. At the same point last week, Carroll had seen 185 cases. In total, Carroll had 364 cases last week, down significantly from the previous week, when a record 501 cases were reported. Only four congregate living facility cases have been reported this week.

The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, reported as a seven-day rolling average, went down to 31.04 after being at 46.81 late last week. Carroll’s positivity rate, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, dipped slightly to 6.9% and stayed below the state’s current rate of 7.76%.

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Despite the apparent decreases, however, there were also 189 new probable cases reported, making a total of 1,459 probables. These are patients who test positive using a rapid antigen test, rather than a molecular test like those offered at state-run testing sites. The health department doesn’t consider these results to be confirmed cases. Should the majority of those 189 eventually test positive with a molecular test, the actual numbers for this week and last would go up.

There were 26 new hospitalizations of community members due to COVID-19, and there have been 365 hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic.

Carroll Hospital had 34 patients who are COVID-19 positive and 12 under investigation as of Tuesday, the most recent data released, with 12 ICU beds in use and a total census of 156 (out of a maximum capacity of approximately 170).

Of the 5,193 community members who have tested positive in Carroll, 185 are younger than 10 years old; 577 are in the 10-19 range; 940 are 20-29 years old; 722 are 30-39; 720 are 40-49; 998 are 50-59; 610 are 60-69; 291 are 70-79; 128 are 80-89; and 22 are in their 90s. Women have accounted for 2,716 of the positive tests, and men for 2,477.

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Of Carroll’s 6,262 total COVID-19 cases, Westminster has seen the most with 2,142 across two ZIP codes, followed by Sykesville/Eldersburg with 1,603, Mount Airy with 488, Hampstead with 447, Manchester with 401, Taneytown with 368, Finksburg with 313, New Windsor with 167, Woodbine with 109, Marriottsville with 85 Union Bridge with 73, and Keymar with 54. Data is not released in ZIP codes with seven cases or fewer.

The health department has vaccinated approximately 3,000 people since Dec. 30, according to a Monday news release. Most of those people have been from Phase 1A, which includes first responders, health care providers and correctional facilities staff. A small number of high-priority teachers as designated by Carroll County Public Schools were also vaccinated last week from Phase 1B, according to the release, when a 1A clinic did not fill up as quickly as expected.

The health department will continue to vaccinate individuals in Phase 1A this week, as well as staff from public and private schools and child care facilities who are in Phase 1B. People age 75 or older will be starting their vaccination process next week.

The health department is asking residents who want to receive the vaccine to complete interest forms for their phase of vaccination. These forms can be found online at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-interest-forms. Individuals on these lists will receive updates by email or phone, for those who do not have email, when more information on registration is available. This is not registration for vaccination, and the list will not be prioritized.

Information about vaccine priorities continues to be refined at state and local levels. More information on the state phases can be found at covidlink.maryland.gov/content/vaccine. More information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Carroll County can be found on the health department’s page at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the hotline between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.

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